Poker is a very complicated game that involves many phases. It takes thousands of hours and many years to become an experienced poker player. One specific phase that takes much experience and knowledge is preflop poker. Preflop poker (in case you did not already know) is poker before any of the community cards are lied out. At his point in the game each player has two cards in front of them, which are known as hole cards. Each player must play their hands based strictly upon only the two cards they have in the hole. All of the players will have an opportunity to bet before the flop is ever dealt.
During this time, is when the majority of the fireworks can happen in this game. People tend to want to prove how good their hands are before the flop. This causes a lot of betting and raising preflop. It is very important to know how to play your hand before the flop because that could possibly have a lot to do with how your hand will play out.
Before the flop, you have the opportunity to give your hand an image for the rest of the table. The image that your hand will have is based strictly on what you do with it. Whether you bet, check, or reraise your opponents; it will say a lot about the type of hand you have. A good poker player will think about what you have done before the flop later on in that hand. You will want to make sure that you keep that in mind when you are betting before the flop. You never know how much that decision will affect the rest of your hand. What you decide to do will depend on the type of image you want your cards to have during that hand.
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The most important thing you can do preflop, is to make sure you protect any good hands. That is one of the main reasons why people raise preflop. If you have pocket aces or pocket kings it is safe to assume you have the best hand going into the flop. In order to increase your chances of winning the hand, you want to decrease the amount of opponents in the hand with you. If you play at a full table with eight other people, you have a very slim chance of winning with pocket aces or pocket kings. If you are going into a hand with just one or two other players, you will have a good chance to win that hand with pocket kings or aces. This is all set up by what you do before the flop. Your preflop play has everything to do with the way the rest of your hand will turn out.
The other thing about preflop poker is the amount of information you can get about your opponents during this time. Before the flop there are a lot of players that are concerned with their cards and do not think about anything else. This is the time to take full advantage of the possibility of players giving off major tells about there hands. Even when you fold, you should still be paying very close attention to what everyone at the table is doing and how they are doing it. All of this starts before the flop ever happens. There is no better time to get reads on players then before the flop. Of course, you will need to carry all your preflop information over to after the flop, but the key is getting it in the first place. All of that information can be obtained during preflop poker.
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